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The Lord of the Rings (1955 radio series)

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The name The Lord of the Rings refers to more than one character, item or concept. For a list of other meanings, see The Lord of the Rings (disambiguation).

In 1955, the BBC Radio Third Programme aired a treatment of The Fellowship of the Ring in six episodes. A year later, six episodes on The Two Towers and The Return of the King followed. Though only the latter six episodes were called thus, the entire series has become known as the 1955 radio series of The Lord of the Rings.

Contents

Episodes

The Fellowship of the Ring
The Lord of the Rings

Cast

Actor Role
John Baker Orcs[6]
Nicolette Bernard Unspecified (presumably Goldberry),[2] Galadriel[5]
Oliver Burt Frodo[2]
Michael Collins Merry[2]
Frank Duncan Legolas,[4] Halbarad,[9] Additional voices[2][3]
Valentine Dyall Treebeard,[6] Théoden,[7] Orcs[5]
Robert Farquharson Saruman,[7] Denethor[9]
Felix Felton Bilbo,[4] Voice of Sauron,[7] The Black Captain,[10] Orcs,[6] Additional voices[2][3]
Garard Green Elrond,[4] Celeborn,[5] Additional voices[3]
Olive Gregg Eowyn[10]
Derek Hart Narrator[2]
David Hemmings Bergil[9]
Noel Johnson Éomer[6]
Basil Jones Pippin[2]
Godfrey Kenton Aragorn,[2] Mablung, [5] Additional voices[3]
Eric Lugg Gimli,[4] Additional voices[3]
Victor Platt Sam[2]
Derek Prentice Boromir,[4] Faramir,[8] Beregond, [9] Orcs, [10] Additional voices[2][3]
Bernard Rebel Wormtongue[7]
Prunella Scales Ioreth[10]
Gerik Schjelderup Gollum, [6] Orcs[6]
Norman Shelley Gandalf,[4] Tom Bombadil,[2][11] An Old Man,[6] Additional voices[3]
Roger Snowdon Orcs[5][6][10]

Adapted by Terence Tiller.[12] Music by Anthony Smith-Masters.[2]

Differences from the book

  • In the first six episodes, dialogue was preserved as much as possible, but in the last six, some liberty had to be taken.[1]
  • The second part of the series had to have a lot of cuts because executives at the BBC were not as fond of The Lord of the Rings as the listeners were.[1]
  • Tom Bombadil: Considered by Tolkien "dreadful", though it is left unexplained why.[11]
  • Goldberry: She was portrayed as Bombadil's daughter.[11] Tiller later apologized to Tolkien, stating he had thought the age difference between the two too large to portray them as a couple.[1]
  • Willowman: He is shown in league with Mordor, rather than just an antagonist of the Hobbits.[11]
  • Glóin: He was given a German accent. Tolkien thought he was not too bad, though a bit exaggerated.[13]
  • The Council of Elrond: Severely trimmed, only the base actions and characters remained.[1]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Wayne G. Hammond, Christina Scull, The J.R.R. Tolkien Companion and Guide Reader's Guide, "Adaptations", pp. 8-23
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 Radio Times, Volume 129, No. 1672, November 25, 1955
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 Radio Times, Volume 129, No. 1673, December 2, 1955
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 Radio Times, Volume 129, No. 1674, December 9, 1955
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 Radio Times, Volume 129, No. 1675, December 16, 1955
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 6.7 6.8 Radio Times, Volume 133, No. 1723, November 16, 1956
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 Radio Times, Volume 133, No. 1724, November 23, 1956
  8. 8.0 8.1 Radio Times, Volume 133, No. 1725, November 30, 1956
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 Radio Times, Volume 133, No. 1726, December 7, 1956
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 10.5 10.6 Radio Times, Volume 133, No. 1727, December 14, 1956
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 J.R.R. Tolkien, Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 175 (dated November 30, 1955)
  12. J.R.R. Tolkien, Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 193 (dated November 2, 1956)
  13. J.R.R. Tolkien, Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 176 (dated December 8, 1955)